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Published on November 16th, 2011 | by Auntie Terror

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Agony Auntie Terror Answers Your Questions!

Dear Auntie Terror,

I keep spending all my beer money on wheels, many of which I don’t like, and it’s having an impact on my pub time.

Can you give me an “idiot’s guide” to wheels? No matter how many times the specs are explained to me, I just can’t remember what’s slick/grippy/narrow/small etc.

Thanks,

Not As Drunk As I Want To Be

Dear Not as Drunk,

Wheels are like beer – there are many different kinds and all subject to individual tastes. Some people like hard, wide wheels while others like slim, soft, and short wheels. And then there are people who
prefer alloy hubs or those that like to mix things up. They can be complicated to wrap your head around and often reading the descriptions of them don’t work – every wheel description makes it
sound like it could be the wheel to end all wheels.

I can see how all your beer money could easily go on wheels and if you aren’t satisfied then you find what you really need is a beer to take your mind off it – what a pisser!

What you should do, rather than spending all your pub money, is to ask some of the girls in your league if you can borrow some of their wheels. Most skaters have more than one set of wheels and a lot of them have old wheels they are no longer using. Ask around and see who has what and then use the guide below to figure out what you want to borrow. Learn as much as you can about what wheels you prefer and then spend your money wisely… on more beer.

“The Idiot’s Guide to Wheels”

There are quite a lot of factors to wheels that should be considered but the ones you probably want to think about first are durometer, width, and diameter. After that most of it is down to personal preference.

Durometer

Simply put – the hardness of the urethane. Usually measured on an A-scale, but some wheels will have a D-scale. In theory, the lower the number the softer (more grippy) the wheel is and the higher the number the harder (more slidey) the wheel. The idea is that if you want to stick to the floor you want a lower number, but if you want a bit of slide than go for a higher number. If you want a bit of slide and a bit of grip you can go mid-range numbers or mix up the durometers.

Width

Simply put – the contact surface of the wheel. Width is most important when considering how much contact area you want between wheel and floor. Wider wheels (44mm) have more surface contact with the floor, can feel more stable, and the lip on wide wheels gives a bit more push during your crossovers. Slim wheels (39mm) have less contact surface area which can be good for agility and manoeuvrability.

Diameter

Simply put – how tall the wheel is from the skate surface. Diameter plays it’s most important role in speed and acceleration. Taller wheels (62mm) take longer to accelerate but work better at maintaining
your speed. Shorter wheels (59mm) get you up to speed quickly which is great for short bursts, but it takes more effort to maintain that speed constantly.

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